World Cup Qualifiers: Boateng, Gündoğan and Gómez back in the mix

Time flies. Just under a month after the Mannschaft’s opening qualifying win in Oslo against Norway, the road to Russia 2018 continues with matches two and three against two more familiar opponents, the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland. Nationaltrainer Jogi Löw will be looking at picking maximum points in the two home ties in Hamburg and Hannover as the team looks to set the pace.

Big names back

There are three major changes to the 22-man squad, with Jérôme Boateng, Mario Gómez and İlkay Gündoğan all making welcome returns. Boateng has recovered from his summertime injury and Gómez is back in Germany with VfL Wolfsburg after also being injured at the Euros; Gündoğan, now in England with Manchester City, is back in the international fold for the first time since the end of 2015.

The goalkeeping trio remains the same, but there are a number of changes in the defensive cadre. Boateng is joined by another returnee in Sebastian Rudy, while Emre Can, Niklas Süle and Jonathan Tah all miss out. Gündoğan is back in among a talented nine-man midfield unit, with Karim Bellarabi and André Schürrle not making the cut.

Familiar opposition

Both opponents have a certain familiarity about them. Northern Ireland were drawn against the Mannschaft in the group phase of the Euros, but it has been seventeen years since the last time the two teams were drawn together in a tournament qualifier. In 1999, Germany won 3-0 in Belfast and 4-0 in Dortmund.

Germany and Czechoslovakia produced plenty of memorable encounters before 1990, and since then the Czech Republic have faced the Mannschaft three times in major tournaments – including the final of Euro 1996 at Wembley. The two countries in their current guise have been drawn together once in qualifying competition. Germany beat the Czechs 2-1 in Prague as they qualified early for the Euro 2008, but with their place in the tournament already assured, they fell to a 3-0 defeat in the return match in Munich.


Bernd Leno (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 2/0)
Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München, 72/0)
Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona, 7/0)


Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 65/1)
Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln, 22/1)
Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04, 41/2)
Mats Hummels (FC Bayern München, 51/4)
Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern München, 7/1)
Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal FC, 13/1)
Sebastian Rudy (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 11/0)


Julian Brandt (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 3/0)
Julian Draxler (VfL Wolfsburg, 25/2)
İlkay Gündoğan (Manchester City, 16/4)
Sami Khedira (Juventus Turin, 66/5)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid CF, 72/11)
Max Meyer (FC Schalke 04, 3/1)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 79/34)
Mesut Özil (Arsenal FC, 81/21)
Julian Weigl (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 3/0)


Mario Gómez (VfL Wolfsburg, 68/29)
Mario Götze (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 58/17)
Kevin Volland (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 6/0)

World Cup Qualifiers: Boateng, Gündoğan and Gómez back in the mix

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